Social media marketing is “supposed” to be the new, alternative and largely free method of marketing your wares and services. It’s certainly popular – from high-street micro-businesses with just the single outlet, to giant global enterprises with huge chains and a dominant bearing on every continent – the business world has understood the need to have a social media presence in order to compete, and, large and small, enterprises have embraced it.
Yes, social media has changed the face of advertising. Indeed, it has democratised the playing field. Whereas once upon a time, before the days of the web, businesses would be forced to spend their marketing budgets on print ads in the backs of newspapers and magazines, now these same efforts have been refocused towards online formats (that’s of course not say that the printed advertisement is dead (it’s not), but it no longer holds the monopoly). And, similarly, with the likes of YouTube, Vimeo and Vine, no longer are video promotions the sole reserve of the large corporation, which can afford the prohibitive prices to have their promos and commercials broadcast on television channels and movie theatres.
There’s actually quite a lot that the social media marketer can create and publish for free on social media. Blogs are of course the first point of call for many. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you don’t have a website then you don’t have a business; and if you don’t have a blog then you don’t have a website. It’s that simple, really. But, this formula can be extended once more – if you don’t have social, then you don’t have a blog.
No website = no business.
No blog = no website.
No social = no blog.
You do the math.
I really should get this printed on a t-shirt…
Marketers should not and do not stop at blogs, however, so neither should you. Campaigns are created in all sorts of ways across social networks, from ‘like and share’ giveaways to exclusive promotions to viral videos to paid advertising. And it’s this latter format that I want to pay attention to here.
Bad Facebook Ads
It’s odd, but with all the free social media promotion that goes on across Facebook, and with all the new marketing innovations that are out there, an advert is still an advert – and as consumers we still hate being force fed an advert as much as we always have done.
Right hand column ads that adorn the sidebars of our Facebook news feeds can be irritating in the extreme – as can news feed ads. They’re distracting, often poorly targeted, interruptive, and, most of the time, unoriginal and uninspiring. This typical example makes the top of the list of the BadFacebookAds Tumblr. that a dedicated curator of marketing mediocrity has taken pains to put together:
I’m actually a U2 fan, but this advert doesn’t inspire me to do anything except remind me never to admit that in public (oh, wait – whoops!).
Good Facebook Ads
This is 2015. We’ve seen adverts countless times that basically say “buy our product”, “use our service” or “let’s hang backstage”.
It’s tired, it’s predictable, it’s uninspiring, and, especially for the SME, it simply doesn’t work. No, these days in order for an advert to be successful, we need to be entertained, amused, and often inspired to think.
A good Facebook ad must be:
- Visually appealing
- Relevant (i.e. well-targeted)
- Include an enticing value prop
- Have a strong call to action
- Be entertaining
I have to admit, even though I personally don’t use these blades, I’ve always been impressed with the whole of Dollar Shave Club’s social media marketing efforts. They’re cheeky, they’re fun, they look great, they have great value props – the only thing missing from this one in fact is a bold call to action – not that Chris Perricone was put off:
How To Create Facebook Ads Your Followers Won’t Hate
Ok, so we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, so now I want to devote the remainder of this post to listing some actionable tips that you can take away with you when creating your own Facebook ads your followers won’t hate…
1. The Visual Appeal – Make Your Ads Eye-catching
This is first and foremost. Social media has gone visual – I’ve said this before as well, and no doubt I will say it again. But in order for you advertisements to stick out they must be striking in the first instance. Dollar Shave Club got it right once again in December just gone with this very simply yet effective two-tone graphic with some clever copy:
2. Relevancy – Make Use Of Targeting
There will be several different targeting options for you to choose between when you first start out with Facebook ads. You need to be very careful with these, as perhaps the most irritating part of online adverts are those that you are forced to digest that would never be of use to you in a million years. People are aware of ad targeting technology, and whether they like it or hate it, they will be disappointed if you get it wrong – it will reduce your brand’s credibility.
So, select your demographics carefully, thoughtfully, and wisely. You only want to be pushing your ads to users who might actually be interested in buying your product – there’s no point in trying to sell roller blades to the over 70s (generally speaking – I’m sure there will be an exception or two that the internet can discover!).
3. The Value Proposition – Highlight The Added Benefits
Your product will be great at what it does – of course it will. But you need to ask yourself, what are the additional benefits of the product, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Let’s think about Dollar Shave Club once again. This company sells razor blades for men. Now, a lot of their rivals – even some of the biggest brands out there – simply focus on the quality of the blades that they sell. But what Dollar Shave Club does differently is point out the added values of their product: the blades are delivered to subscribers’ doors, meaning that they never have to worry about forgetting to buy fresh ones; their product is decidedly cheaper than the big branded rivals, though still enjoys the same quality; and they even go so far as to point out that they are creating jobs in America.
A list of 7 great value proposition formulas that you can use can be found at wishpond.com
4. Include A strong Call To Action
CTAs are important, and you should make sure that they are as clear as possible in your Facebook ads. If you manage to get everything else right and entice a user to take your offer, the last thing you want to do is lose them at the last minute by not having a clear, visible button to click that will direct them to the sales page.
Furthermore, the information that will entice readers to click on the CTA also needs to be clear and concise. We need to know exactly what the offer is for, how much it is, when it expires, and then a clear CTA that will enable us to get it.
This is great from Jasper’s Market:
As is this from Tortuga Music Festival:
5. Entertain – Make Us Smile
This last point is one that I don’t think can be made strongly enough. Ads shouldn’t be boring – they need to entertain. Even simple single image ones. And the Dollar Shave Club get this right once again (honestly, I don’t have shares in the comapny, I just think that we can learn a lot from their advertising campaigns):